We live in an increasingly digital world. Every year brings new technological advancements, more advanced IT security systems, and more sophisticated cyber threats.
It’s more important now than ever before to be aware of these threats and how to protect yourself against them. This is especially true if you’re a business owner, as the future of your company could depend on it.
With that in mind, here are 6 important cybersecurity lessons for small businesses.
1. Watch out for malware
Malware is probably the biggest threat to your network security. Malware is malicious software that infects and compromises your IT systems, allowing hackers to potentially access important or confidential business data.
There are many ways that malware can become installed on your business IT systems, but one of the most common ways is via dubious downloads. Make sure your staff are aware of these risks and avoid downloading anything from unfamiliar sources – particularly email attachments.
2. Be wary of email links
One of the most common ways malware finds it way into your IT systems is through email. Often, hackers will send ‘phishing emails’ with links that seem to point to legitimate websites but in reality direct you to a dangerous website. As soon as you click them, your system is compromised. Always check where links point to before you click them by hovering over them first, and never click a link you don’t recognize.
3. Backup your data
Losing data due to a cyber attack can be costly. Make sure you back up all important data to protect yourself from this threat. Follow the 3-2-1 rule by making 3 copies, storing 2 of them on different media forms, and 1 of them physically off-site (such as on a USB stick in a secure facility).
4. Set up multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication means installing a separate layer of security so that if your password is compromised, the hacker still needs to go through an additional step, such as text authentication. It’s a simple step, but an important one. Of course, it’s better if they never get to the second step, which brings us onto the fifth tip.
5. Have robust passwords
Always use robust, unique passwords. Ideally, your password will be a mixture of letters, numbers, and characters and be as long as possible. You should also make sure to use a different password for all your online accounts. That way, if one password is ever compromised, it won’t put all your other accounts and IT systems at risk.
6. Don’t try and do it alone
Finally, don’t try and handle cybersecurity alone. Businesses need professional help to make sure they have robust IT systems and data protection in place. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you consult an IT support company and take out an IT support package.
It might seem like a costly investment, but it won’t be nearly as costly as a cybersecurity breach could be in the future.